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Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
I received a renewal notice for my Driver's License about two weeks ago and finally got around to taking care of it yesterday. My procrastination was brought on by a pre-determination that it was going to be terribly inconvenient. And it was. But not because the office was inefficient or that the lines were unbearably long - it was inconvenient because I failed to read my renewal notice carefully.

The last time I renewed my license, all I had to do was surrender the old license and take an eye examination. That was many, many years ago. Apparently, things have changed.

As I entered the office with my renewal notification in hand, I was greeted by a computer touch screen with options including, DL renewal, property tax payment, tag replacement, renewal, etc. It was a virtual one-stop shop. I touched DL renewal and the computer promptly spit out #95. I took my number and found an empty seat among the other patrons waiting to be served. It was at that point that I actually looked at my renewal notice. Right there, under WHAT TO BRING - proof of identification, such as a Passport or Certified Birth Certificate. Oops. So much for surrendering the old (still valid) license. As I walked out the door I heard number 90 being called.

I hopped into the car and made the fourteen minute round trip and returned with my passport. Number 97 was being called. I quietly took a seat, but not a new number and waited patiently until I heard the sweetest words, "Has 95 returned to the building?" " Yep, I'm good this time," came my confident reply. Apparently, not so. As the clerk began to enter data she also had a slew of questions which included, do you have your social security card? What? I thought all I needed was proof of identification. Not so. She handed me a single sheet of paper with several highlighted passages and I began to read - carefully, this time. Okay, I'll be back.

Back in the car and another fourteen minute round trip yielded my social security card (knowing the number was not sufficient), a bank statement and an electric bill. I added these new documents to my still valid Driver's License and my passport and walked sheepishly back into the renewal office. This time I took a new number, #7, as I was pretty sure that I would not be afforded the "she was here earlier dispensation."

"Number 7." I walked past the original clerk and gave a quick smile and a wave as I proceeded down the lane to clerk number four. Dalia already knew my story - "third time's a charm," she quipped as I handed over all evidence of my existence. One eye exam, a bazillion questions and $44 later I had a new DL in hand (with a photo that actually looks like me).

Number one clerk gave me a "thumbs up" as I walked past a long line of new arrivals and out the door, not to return, for at least another eight years. I can only imagine what will be required by then!
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Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
Way to go, girl! I had just renewed for 10 years in Virginia, doing everything online. But then we moved to another state, and my experience was much like yours.
Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 1:13:01 PM
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